Officers with the Benton Special Investigation Unit, which is comprised of officers from the Benton and Bryant Police Departments, recently conducted undercover compliance checks of restaurants that serve alcohol in Benton and Bryant. These checks were done to ensure that these establishments are not serving alcohol to minors.
There were four restaurants that failed and five that passed the compliance checks during this operation. The four establishments that failed were; Denton’s Trotline, Applebee’s, Ruby Tuesday, and Chili’s. Those that passed the check were La Hacienda, Colton’s, Gino’s, Smokey Joes, and Maya Riviera.
These operations were carried out with undercover officers accompanying a minor who goes into the business and attempts to order an alcoholic beverage. If the minor was served alcohol they excused themselves from the business and it was turned over to officers who then issued a citation to the offender. Additionally, a report of the infraction will be forwarded to the Arkansas Alcohol Beverage Commission as well.
These alcohol compliance checks are part of an Enforcing the Underage Drinking Laws (EUDL) Grant that is awarded through the State Finance and Administration office. It provides funding to departments to conduct operations such as this one to ensure that restaurants are complying with the law.
The Benton Police Department has also used these funds during the previous year to provide education and awareness programs about the dangers of drinking and driving. The funds were used to display public education billboards, a commercial that ran on local television stations, and an education program during prom.
Those that failed the compliance checks were issued citations for Unknowingly Selling Alcohol to a Minor, but those that passed were recognized as well by being given letters of appreciation. The goal of the program is to have 100% compliance during future operations which will be conducted again this year with officers from the Bryant and Benton Police Departments. Alcohol permits are a privilege and it is important to the safety of our young people that the law associated with them is strictly adhered to at all times.